The Secret To Living A Defiant Joy: An interview with Margaret Feinberg

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One of my favorite authors, Margaret Feinberg, has been through a brutal fight with cancer and shares the unexpected lessons she discovered along the way in her new book and Bible study Fight Back With Joy.

It’s been inspiring to learn how Margaret has been practicing a defiant joy, and I and thought you might like to get an insider’s look, a sneak peek of the video and read an interview with Margaret.

Preview the 6-Session DVD Bible Study, here.

Your newest book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy, was born out of your fight with a life-threatening illness. What was your difficult diagnosis, and what has your journey to health entailed?

For the last 18 months, I’ve been battling breast cancer. Breast cancer isn’t just one disease represents thousands of different diseases with their varying components and factors. Being diagnosed under the age of 40 is significant. I’ve been through a brutal year of chemotherapy, radiation, and more surgeries than I can count or want to remember.

Why did you write Fight Back With Joy?

I studied joy for a year and was putting the finishing touches on book on joy—just two weeks from turning it into the publisher, when I received the diagnosis. I had been pursuing and activating joy in my life in the relatively good times, now I had to do it in the midst of darkness, depression, and torturous pain. Through the process, I’ve discovered the breadth, depth, and power of joy—that despite hundreds of sermons and many decades in the church—no one had told me of before.

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In Fight Back With Joy book and Bible study, you really push the reader to reevaluate their definition of joy. Why do you think this is so important?

Much of the teaching I’ve heard on joy over the years is oversimplified. I remember those days in Sunday school learning that JOY is spelled Jesus, Others, Yourself. While that made perfect sense at 9 years old, I’ve seen how distorted that can become as an adult.

I see friends who love Jesus but spend so much time pouring into their kids, grandkids and others that their joy looks something like this: jOy.

Technically, it still spells joy, but more than anything, these men and women who are so exhausted, so empty, so running on fumes from pouring into others need to pause and take time to focus on themselves. Laying hold of joy right now will require them to reevaluate for a season and discover the joy that comes with JYo.

I also noticed how most of the definitions of joy define it more by what it isn’t than by what it is. I constantly heard that happiness is based on circumstance but joy is not dependent on circumstance.

Biblical expressions of joy turn out to be far different than what I had been taught. I am now convinced the writers of the Bible would say that, the reason we have joy is because we have great circumstances. If you are a child of God, you are drenched in the grace and mercy of God.

No matter what you’re facing: Your circumstances are better than you think.

If you’re not experiencing joy, perhaps it’s because your definition of joy is too narrow.

On a scale of 1-10, how hard was it for you to write this book and Bible study?

An eleven! This journey has been the most painful experience of my life. And, to share about it requires some vulnerability. Okay, a lot of vulnerability. And, that’s really, really hard. But I feel like I’m finally ready to share what God has stirred in my heart along the way because although cancer has been the most painful journey—it has also been the most joyful. And no one is more surprised than I am.

Pick up a copy of Fight Back With Joy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble today.

 

They Can Choose To Go Their Own Way

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Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

Chances are if you’ve been around any mom of faith then you’ve probably rubbed up against this verse a few times. It’s sort of like the parenting “go-to” verse. It’s a great truth that I’ve clung to many times while raising my boys…but, there’s one part of it that I never fully was able to grasp until now.

Here’s what I’ve been learning on my twenty first year as a mama bear, we can train up them up–but they can choose to go their own way.

Gulp. That one has not been an easy pill to swallow for me. I have crossed all my t’s and dotted all my i’s along this parenting journey and truth be told, I thought I would get to this point and be able to sit back and rest in the fruit of those many years of godly parenting.

Go ahead, you can laugh out loud.
I did too.

Seriously, I just had to stop and laugh at myself for thinking that if you did “all the right things”, or at least tried to, while your kids were growing that you would miraculously end up with these perfect adults and then…ta-da, you’re done.

……….I’m over at the M.O.M. Initiative today talking about this, stop by and take a few minutes to find out what I’ve been learning along the way.

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The M.O.M. Initiative website exists as safe place to grow as a mother, to gain a better understanding of what a mother is and what a mother does and to foster and support mentor and mentee relationships. Along with practical tips, helpful tools, informative insight on current issues and godly wisdom on just about every aspect of a mother’s life, this website also offers a private chat room where a mom can connect with a ‘virtual’ mentor and find help in times of need.

The primary vision for The M.O.M. Initiative is that it not only be limited to those who enter the four walls of the church, but that it also be used to facilitate mentor relationships in homes for unwed mothers, in low income housing projects, apartment complexes, homeless shelters, prisons, juvenile shelters, schools, hospitals, the mission field and anywhere young mothers can be found. Planning guides for each of these venues will be available in the back of the book.

The M.O.M. Initiative is not just a book. It’s not just a website. IT’S A REVOLUTION!

 

 

 

Book Review: A Lady At Willowgrove Hall, by Sarah E. Ladd

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My Thoughts About the Book:

If you love Downton Abbey and Jane Austen books, then you are going to love “A Lady At Willowgrove Hall” by Sarah E. Ladd. I didn’t read the first two books in the “Whispers on the Moors” series, but after reading this one, Book #3, it is a priority for me to go back and pick those up to read as well. The historical fiction is right in line with this time period and perfect for those who love all things Victorian and classic literature.

The characters, Cecily Faire and Nathaniel Stanton are sure to make a way into your heart. The attention to detail, the depth of the characters and storyline made “A Lady at Willgrove Hall” one of my favorites so far this fall. I know you fall in love with Cecily and Nathaniel as much as I did, there were times when my heart actually hurt for them. Truly a sweet get away right in the palm of your hands.

About the book:

Her secret cloaks her in isolation and loneliness.

His secret traps him in a life that is not his own.

Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could strip away everything she holds dear. But soon after accepting the position of lady’s companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years.

Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own — one that has haunted him from birth and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove. To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breath a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to find his own way in the world. He’ll never be free to fall in love.

When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and build a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long suffered?

You can purchase a copy of the book here: http://ow.ly/CsnBw

About the Author:

SLadd-118Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. “The Heiress of Winterwood” was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance and a finalist in the Debut Author category of the 2014 Carol Awards. The second book in the series, “The Headmistress of Rosemere” (2013), was on the ECPA best-seller list for several months. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.

Find Sarah online: website , Facebook , Twitter

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

Tackling A Few Motherhood Myths

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 Today I’m over at The M.O.M. Initiative talking about

“Motherhood Is Hard Work – It’s Time For Moms To Stick Together”.

Without a doubt being a mom is one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had in my life. Never would I have imagined the sheer number of emotions and the intensity each one brings with it. It’s true, motherhood is hard work, and it’s time for moms to stick together.

It’s my heart that by coming to you as a “seasoned” (that’s a nicer way of saying “older”) mom and sharing a little bit of what I’ve learned on the journey of being a mom.

Here’s what I can tell you…it doesn’t get easier.

Yeah, not the answer you expected, I know. Yes, each stage has its highs and lows, but the motherhood part–well, it’s just as hard today as it was the day I brought my little bundle of joy home. Now that bundle of joy is inching closer to twenty one and the “baby”, well, he’s closing in on nineteen.

So you see, I’ve been on this motherhood journey for a very long time. Here are a few motherhood myths that I’ve seen along the way.

Motherhood Myths

  • I can do it all on my own – This happens when we can’t, won’t or don’t ask for help. We put on our wonder woman suit and will do whatever it takes to get it done.

Here’s the truthTwo people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT

Here’s a better way – Seek out a couple of friends that you can count on to jump in and help you get it done. Whether it is a babysitting swap so you can get your cleaning done, or coordinating a group outing so that you can take some time to just slow down and breathe a little bit.

——————> Head on over to The M.O.M. Initiative to read the other 2 Motherhood Myths and while you are there, find out a little more about the incredible group of moms over there…you’ll be so glad you did!

Have you heard about the M.O.M. Initiative?

Here’s a little bit about what we’re doing…

The M.O.M. Initiative is an acrostic for Mothers on a Mission to Mentor Other Mothers. Our goal is to minister to moms who know Christ and reach those who don’t.

As a ministry, we provide resources and support to help the body of Christ make mentoring missional…to not only begin to mentor moms within the four walls of the church, but to mentor moms beyond the walls of the church in order to impact our communities and this culture for Christ.

With resources for the local church and area ministries, training, an online database of M.O.M. Groups, daily online encouragement, and ministry support, The M.O.M. Initiative helps connect local churches and ministries with one another and with the community.

Book Review: The Mason Jar, by James Russell Lingerfelt

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My Thoughts About the Book:

I was extremely intrigued to read a Christian Fiction (romance) book from a guy’s perspective. Let’s face it, it’s not the norm and it is certainly unlike anything I’ve read before. I love to throw in a great Christian Fiction every couple of weeks to rest, relax and just step out of my everyday life. Unfortunately I didn’t love this one. It is a good book, no doubt, but just wasn’t my favorite. Which is completely ok. We all have our own opinions and are entitled to share them. I did read the entire book. I couldn’t in good faith do a review on it without seeing it through to the end…and I did.
 
Here’s what I will tell you that I enjoyed. It was pretty interesting to read this type of book filtered through a guy’s eyes. The writing was good, solid and detailed. The characters were easy to get to know and developed well. I love the whole concept of the mason jar letters back and forth from his grandfather and as a Compassion advocate I was thrilled to see the character working and serving and making a difference abroad. Even the references to the books “When Helping Hurts” and the truth behind microlending is right on…but I just never found myself completely enveloped in it, which is important to me when I’m reading this type of book.

About the book: 

What if your old college roommate called, raving about a book someone sent her, calling it the most beautiful book she’s ever read? “But,” she said, “it’s about you.” The author is your college ex.

In The Mason Jar, Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather’s desk—letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark debutante from Colorado. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she leaves, Clayton is left with unanswered questions.

Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to the loss of the young woman he once loved. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the broken Mason jar.

A story about a girl who vanished, a former love who wrote a book about her, and a reunion they never imagined.

Written for the bruised and broken, The Mason Jar is an inspirational romance that brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. With a redemptive ending that encourages us to love again and written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jar interweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with WolvesA River Runs Through It, and Legends of the Fall.

You can purchase a copy here: http://ow.ly/C52aq

You can read other reviews about the book here: http://litfusegroup.com/author/jlingerfelt

About the author: 

James Russell Lingerfelt is the author of The Mason Jar and writes articles forThe Huffington Post. James connects with readers at his blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective, and divides his time between Southern California and his family’s ranch in Alabama.
Find James online: website ,Facebook , Twitter
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”